What is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is making a schedule of times when you will not eat. There are two main variations of the diet popularized by different people:
The Leangains Protocol by Martin Berkhan. This is the most popular fasting method.
This is an intermittent fasting schedule where you fast for 16 hours of the day and only eat during the other 8 hours.
It sounds scarier than it is. I promise.
Most people, including myself, will skip a meal and keep the other two meals within an 8-hour window. So, if I had dinner last night at 7 pm, I would not have my next meal until 11 am.
Although you are fasting, you are still able to drink black coffee, tea, or water as they contain no calories. You cannot have anything with artificial sweeteners if you want to lose weight.
The Eat Stop Eat Protocol by Brad Pilon. This is the second most popular method.
This method involves fasting for 24 hours.
If you eat dinner at 7 pm last night, you won’t be having your next meal until 7 pm tonight.
Many people find this method to be very daunting as it means not consuming anything throughout the day. You can technically go all day without eating, but it would be psychologically daunting.
Why People Get Confused About Fasting
Let’s get the elephant out of the room. Here is one of the biggest misconceptions about diet and weight loss:
”Eating several smaller meals each day can improve your metabolism. A person may worry that fasting will put their body into “starvation mode,” making it hold on to calories.
Nope. No. A million times NO.
No evidence eating six meals per day will increase your metabolism. This is a myth that was created by studies that were not well conducted a LONG time ago.
Here is some basic proof, because I know some of you may struggle to believe this:
- Examine.com debunks the myth of 6 meals per day for your metabolism with 36 different studies.
- One of the largest meta-analyses performed on eating frequency found that there is NO difference in energy expenditure between nibbling and gorging.
- As long as calories remained the same when two groups in these two separate studies ate different meal frequencies, there was no change in calories burned.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, skipping a meal can help boost fat burning according to scientific evidence.
But I will say this. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your body and what type of exercise routine works best for you.
The 3 Rules Of Intermittent Fasting
The three simple rules for following a healthy diet are to eat less or no sugar, more healthy and processed foods, and no snacks between meals.
What Happens To Our Body When We Fast?
When we fast, different things happen in our bodies. Even if you’re not used to this method, you’ll only feel starved at first. In reality, the following are some of the changes brought to our body by fasting:
- A drop in insulin levels: insulin can cause a lot of problems for our bodies. When we fast, the level of insulin in our blood drops dramatically, and this means the body accesses stored body fat and uses this to survive;
- Cell repair: fasting allows cells to start their repair processes. One of these processes is autophagy, where cells remove bad proteins.
- Human Growth Hormone: when fasting, HGH greatly increases, which means fat loss and muscle gain.
The three changes lead to many others in our bodies. Many people prefer intermittent fasting over a traditional diet.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
There have been several studies done on the effects of intermittent fasting, and they all suggest that there are numerous benefits to IF beyond weight loss and weight management. These are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting.
1. Weight Loss
Eating less means weight loss. If you want to lose weight healthily, fasting is a good option because your body will use stored fat for energy instead of glucose. If you stop eating foods with sugar, your body will burn stored fat for energy. This leads to weight loss. You need to be careful about how many calories you consume and the type of food you eat while doing intermittent fasting; IF is not a reason to eat more than your body needs or to eat more junk food.
2. Blood Sugar Improvement
Insulin can be dangerous for our bodies if levels are too high. This can cause problems such as fatigue, needing more sugar, and eventually cardiovascular diseases. Intermittent fasting can help to regulate blood sugar levels, by preventing sharp spikes or crashes in blood sugar levels (which can be caused by hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia respectively).
3. Heart health
Intermittent fasting can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and maintaining a healthy heart.
4. Decreases Hunger
Even if at the very beginning it can be hard to adapt to the change, over a medium and long-term period, intermittent fasting reduces the impact of leptin (the satiety hormone) on the body: when there’s too much leptin circulating in the body, for example when we eat constantly, the body develops resistance, and this means our bodies don’t react to this hormone anymore and so they need more and more food.
Fasting lowers the levels of leptin and decreases hunger.
5. Boosts metabolism
Intermittent fasting can help to increase your metabolism by up to 14%. At the same time, this is a healthy way to promote weight loss while still maintaining muscle tissue.
6. Reduces dependence on sugar
The less sugar you have in your diet, the less you will crave it. Many people drink apple cider vinegar while they are fasting to lower their insulin levels even further and get used to the absence of sugar. I have started drinking apple cider vinegar to help me during my fasting periods. I’ve been impressed with how well this plan has worked in reducing my sugar intake and curbing my sugar cravings.
7. It helps to build a personal routine
A routine is essential for humans, as it helps keep things organized. Intermittent fasting can be seen as a way to help bring order to your life and reduce stress and anxiety. It can be difficult to establish a routine in the beginning, especially if you enjoy having breakfast and after-dinner snacks. However, once you start seeing the benefits and creating a solid plan, you will find that this routine has many advantages, such as providing a clear schedule for your days.
5 Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
1. Improved Fat Burning and Metabolism
Intermittent fasting has been shown to boost natural metabolism by 4-13% during a fast, which can help to promote weight loss.
In addition to that, people have also been shown to lose a significant amount of weight around the waist, getting rid of dangerous belly fat.
Fasting can help you lose weight, but you also need to make dietary changes to lose the most weight possible.
2. Naturally Eat Fewer Calories
The idea is to skip a meal or meals during the fasting period. You should not eat so much food when you stop your fast that you end up eating the same amount as you would have if you had not fasted.
If you go without food for a while and then eat a normal-sized meal, you’ll end up eating fewer calories overall.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to help people lose 3-8% more fat than those who diet without intermittent fasting.
Not only do they have an easier time sticking to their diets, but they are also more likely to stick to their diets in the long term. I believe that fasting makes me more aware of what I eat when my fasting period is over.
Having discipline with your diet often leads to better eating habits overall.
3. Positively Affects Key Weight Loss Hormones
Intermittent fasting can help to optimize hormonal responses for weight loss.
- Improves insulin sensitivity – Insulin is the primary hormone secreted when people eat. By improving insulin sensitivity with fasting, you will naturally lower resting insulin levels. These lower levels of insulin facilitate fat burning.
- Boosts human growth hormone (HGH) – Fasting has been shown to raise HGH by 2000%, which aids in fat burning as well as muscle tissue growth.
- Normalizing leptin – Leptin is the primary weight loss hormone responsible for telling you to stop eating and to go exercise. While most people have chronically low leptin levels, leptin becomes normalized during a fast.
- Helps with cellular discharge – Intermittent fasting also helps the body remove waste material from the cells by improving autophagy.
These changes improve weight loss results and make them happen more quickly.
4. Helps You Hold onto Lean Muscle
If you’re interested in weight loss, you should be interested in lean muscle tissue. One reason people with lean muscle tissue tend to be leaner is that their bodies burn more calories at rest.
When it comes to helping the body preserve lean muscle tissue, intermittent fasting is much more effective than a standard calorie-restriction diet.
5. Makes Life Simpler
Health and simplicity are two peas in a pod. The healthiest foods are not always the simplest, but they can be. A banana or a piece of lean chicken breast are both healthy options.
Some of the healthiest foods you can eat are these basic foods, and being healthy should be simple. Eating 2-3 large meals each day is much more manageable than eating 6 smaller meals and snacks.
A more complicated diet requires more willpower to make decisions and try to cut corners.
We believe that more extreme methods are more effective for weight loss. This is one of the reasons why our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge is so successful.
Instead of having to decide when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat, you only have to make two decisions: what to eat and when to stop eating.
Intermittent Fasting: FAQs
1. Can everybody do Intermittent Fasting?
It depends on your body, what you eat, and your lifestyle. The fact is that everyone can follow this diet and adjust it according to their body. Intermittent fasting is not a miracle cure, but it can be helpful if you also exercise and change your eating habits. You will need to be dedicated to seeing results from this change. After you recover, it will become a fun activity.
2. When do I start counting my fasting window?
Your fasting period starts when you stop eating. This means that your fasting period will start at 7 pm if you start eating at 6 pm and finish at 7 pm.
3. Can I drink coffee in the morning?
Yes, you can. And you can also drink tea. If you want your body to stay in fasting mode, you should eat things that have less than 50 calories. No sugar nor milk, nor cream is allowed, tough.
4. Can I exercise when doing intermittent fasting?
You should do it because you can. Intermittent fasting will make you feel more energetic. Add some form of resistance training to your routine to ensure your muscles don’t shrink when you eat less. Keto is a great diet to follow if you want to build muscle. Intermittent fasting is another great way to help you achieve your goal.
5. What happens if I’m hungry while fasting?
The body usually regulates itself and understands how to behave. For the first few days, you may not have enough food and may feel hungry. After that, you will have enough food and will not feel hungry. If you’re regularly feeling starved, it means you’re not getting enough nutrients during your eating periods. Make sure to eat enough, and include protein-rich foods that will help you make it through your fasting periods without becoming famished.
The more carbs you eat, the hungrier you will be during the fasting time. balanced It’s not that you necessarily have to reduce your carbohydrate intake, but rather that you need to ensure all three macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) are well balanced.
6. How often should I do intermittent fasting?
There’s no rule when it comes to intermittent fasting. I’ve made it part of my lifestyle, so I rarely stop doing it. You can do intermittent fasting as often as you want, it all depends on your preference. I’m sure that the more you do it, the less you’ll want to stop.
7. How long does it take to see results from intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a strategy that requires you to follow certain rules to see results. It also requires you to change your eating habits in terms of when you eat. You’ll only see results if you remain dedicated to the process, but be careful not to become too fixated or allow it to become a source of anxiety. The results of your efforts may start to become apparent after a week or a few weeks have passed. The answer to how long it takes to see results from working out depends on a variety of individual factors.